If you won Php 50 Million (USD 1 Million) from the lottery today, how would you spend it?
Buy your dream house?
Or have a vacation with family and friends?
Or Invest in the stock market; or start a business?
At first glance, rich people seem to be happier than those who struggle to get by.
Many debate that being rich doesn’t make you happy.
Or does it?
Can money really buy you happiness?
“If you think money can’t buy happiness, you’re not spending it right,” Happy Money co-author Michael Norton says. Norton, a Harvard Business School professor, explains in his TED talk. Watch the video below.
So how can money make you happy and rich?
This essay shares 10 secrets to finding Real Happiness while building your wealth.
Table of Contents
- Healthy Attitude
- Be Ambitious, Not Greedy
- Count Your Blessings
- Buy Less Stuff
- Have A Hobby
- Quality Time With Family and Friends
- Buy Gifts
- Donate to Charity
- Manage Your Expenses
- Save and Invest
1. Have a Healthy Attitude Towards Money
Many happy rich people have a healthy view on money. This the first step to becoming wealthy and happy. Without it, no amount of buying anything will make you happy. Money by itself is just a way to do something and achieve your dreams. So you cannot eat cash but you can buy food with it.
When you save money, it is not the cash that makes you feel amazing. It is your ability to afford something.
Moreover, mindless saving doesn’t give us happiness.
Instead, having something to save for, such as your children’s education or dream vacations, gives you a goal to achieve. Achieving these goals is what gives you happiness.
2. Be Ambitious, Not Greedy.
As we become rich, saving money for the sake of it can be dangerous to ourselves and others.
Building your fortune should help achieve your dreams – the good ones.
We should never build wealth at the expense of others’ suffering. This ruins our relationships with our family, friends, and community. Going down this path may get us in trouble with the law too.
In fact, Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar earned millions of dollars per second. But he spent almost half of his life hiding and running away from the law. He spent 5 years in prison. The Colombian police and army hounded and killed him after he escaped.
What’s the point of earning so much money if you cannot live in peace?
Instead, work hard and play clean.
Respect money; don’t love it.
3. Be Grateful – Count Your Blessings.
What 3 persons or things are you grateful today?
Increasing your income makes it easier to buy things and experiences that you never had before. So when you buy or experience these more often, you get used to them. In turn, this lessens your appreciation for the little things.
Don’t overindulge yourself.
Dunn, a University of British Columbia professor, explains that “abundance is the enemy of appreciation” in her TED talk. Watch the video below.
Be grateful for what you have, every day.
Stop and smell the flowers.
Admire an artwork.
Enjoy the sunrise.
Also, try this:
Have a Gratitude Journal.
Every day, list at least 3 things that you are grateful for in this journal. This trains you to remember and enjoy of what you have. Even on boring or bad days, drinking refreshing water is a blessing.
4. Be Content – Buy Less Stuff
Do you still feel great about buying your smart phone?
San Francisco State University assistant professor of psychology Ryan Howell says that investing in experiences, such as vacations and learning new skills, makes us happier than buying things.
This is why rich people are not happy. They spend on the wrong things.
We usually think that material purchases give more value than experiences because things last longer than our memories. Hence, we would rather buy goods than experiences because these can be felt and used now.
But when people looked back at their purchases, they realized that experiences actually provided better value over material possessions.
Furthermore, when we feel happy with what we have, we are less pressured to keep up with our family and friends’ lifestyle, gadgets, and fashion. Unnecessary spending on these things will make us broke.
Instead of buying new clothes every few months, invest in classic clothes that you can wear in any occasion. This will save you a lot of money. Also, you will enjoy your clothes more because classic pieces can easily be mixed and matched.
5. Grow – Have A Hobby
Having a hobby has many benefits, including relaxing your mind from the daily grind, and helping solve difficult problems at work. Most importantly, it grows you as a person.
Take cooking classes.
This builds your confidence in the kitchen and save you a lot of money. With your growing kitchen skills, you can make fresh and healthy food; discover new flavors; and impress your family and friends.
And don’t forget:
Being active keeps your body healthy and mind refreshed.
Artist Tracy Hizon, a self-taught painter, uses surplus pallets from a local factory as a canvass for her paintings. Her designs range from Pop Art to business signs. She accepts special orders for custom artworks. Check out her paintings and order a special design at Woody Wood Pallet.
6. Have More Joy – Spend More Time With Family and Friends.
How often do you bond with your family and friends?
According to Cornell University psychology professor Thomas Gilovich, we often share new experiences with family and friends, strengthening our relationships.
If you had vacation with family or friends, you will always remember and talk about it long after you dispose your iPhone.
Look at it this way:
Online Marketing guru and entrepreneur Neil Patel traded his luxurious lifestyle for Real Happiness. The happiness he had from expensive things was always fleeting. After the joy of owning a helicopter wore off, he had an expensive flying machine that he never used. Now, he values relationships and experiences over material possessions.
7. Be More Generous – Buy Gifts for Family and Friends
Why are there so many unhappy rich people?
They tend to think of themselves more than of others.
If you still want to buy stuff, consider buying small gifts for your family and friends.
Michael Norton says that buying small items for family and friends make you happier, regardless of the price tag.
Norton and Dunn held a social experiment at a university. They gave cash to college students. They told one group to spend it on themselves. Meanwhile, the other group was instructed to spend it on others. At end of the experiment, those who spent money on other people were happier than those who treated themselves. They held a similar study all over the world and had similar results.
Spending for others makes us happier, regardless of culture.
8. Be More Fulfilled – Share Your Wealth and Time with Charity
How do most billionaires find fulfillment?
By giving their wealth to charity.
When you have way more than you need to thrive, the joy of earning money fades. This is why many successful people start charities and donate a portion of their wealth to help the less fortunate.
Bill and Melinda Gates believe that their vast wealth is a gift and that it should be shared with others. Through their Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, they run projects on Education, and Healthcare to empower the less fortunate to rise above poverty.
Sometimes, just donating money is not enough to sustain charitable projects.
Give your expertise, physical strength, and wisdom with the less fortunate too.
Gawad Kalinga has been reducing poverty by building houses in former slum areas in the Philippines. They appreciate donations. But it is best to experience the joy of building a home for someone who desperately needs one.
9. Be a Wise Spender – Manage Your Expenses.
Your wealth does not guarantee a good life.
But spending more than you can afford is surest path to misery.
You should never go overboard in buying things for others or in having new experiences. Always spend on what you can afford.
For instance, it is wiser to skip an expensive dinner than to eat it and suffer with more debt later. Cook at home and save money instead.
A word of caution:
Be careful when you use your credit card. Your debt grows every month when you do not pay in full. If you accumulate too much debt, most of your money will be spent on these bills than on your necessities.
Elizabeth Dunn says:
“If you go into debt to buy these great life experiences, the stress you’ll feel when the credit-card bill comes in will probably wipe out the good that you got from the experience.”
“So taking care of our basic needs and having financial security is our top priority. Once our finances cover our basic needs, we will have peace of mind and enjoy life more.”
“Savings are good for happiness; debt is bad for happiness. But debt is more potently bad than savings are good. From a happiness perspective, it’s more important to get rid of debt than to build savings.”
So how can you effectively manage your money?
Learn how to pay off debt with Fitz Villafuerte’s Debt Payment Strategies.
Fitz Villafuerte is a serial entrepreneur, financial planner and blogger. He loves to share his knowledge, experience, and wisdom on Personal Finance in his blog, Ready To Be Rich.
This principle applies to managing your business too. When your clients pay late, your business may struggle to pay its bills on time.
Acudeen helps business owners pay off their debts by turning your receivables for cash. This will help you pay off your bills while you wait for your clients to settle what they owe you.
Before spending on luxuries, take care of your necessities; pay off your debts; and have enough insurance to shield yourself from unfortunate events.
10. Have Peace of Mind – Save Money and Invest
Saving for a rainy day is a still a wise cliché to follow.
Again, savings should be used to achieve your dreams. This should be used for capital for business and investments in stocks, mutual funds, and insurance.
Business and financial investments are some ways to become rich. Instead buying more things that you do not need, teach yourself on how to grow our money.
Eventually, when you save and invest enough, this will pay for your daily expenses, easing your worries on debt.
If you saved enough money as capital, thoroughly know what you are get into to ensure your success.
The Filipino Global Investors’ (TFGI) webinars and seminars are excellent resources on how to invest your money wisely in the Philippines and abroad. TFGI aims to reduce poverty in the Philippines through Personal Finance education. They teach Personal Finance to Overseas Filipino workers and the less fortunate.
To sum up:
Can money buy you happiness? Yes – if you spend it right.
Sharing more of your wealth, time, knowledge, wisdom with your family, and friends, and community will give you a truly successful life.
Feature Photo: SouthernCrossTravel.com